This appeared in XKCD today and I just had to write a little post on it.

My first thought was; this is a nice visual representation of how you can solve a bounded problem.  A bounded problem is where all the possible solutions can be discovered as in tic-tac-toe. An UN-bounded problem is where you cannot discover every possible outcome and thus must create rules and algorithms for predicting the best possible outcome given the information at hand. As in chess.  Therefore, you could write a computer program that would simply follow the rules as shown below and it would never lose.

… Then a second thought occurred to me… Randall Munroe simply has FAR too much time on his hands… I know,  I know, ‘my code is compiling’.  What;  Your running on an old solaris box or something?  Check out the image below…

Here is the permalink to the XKCD cartoon.

One comment on “Visual representation of the bounded problem of tic-tac-toe OR someone w/ too much time on their hands

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